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Old June 15th 07, 10:34 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

One of the top challengers to the top-rated engine, Rybka, is
Hiarcs.
So I go to the Web site for Hiarcs and a set of positions pops up,
which are supposed to show how great this program is relative to the
competition:

http://www.hiarcs.com/Games/H10pos.htm

The very first problem position is from a game between GMs Tal and
Uhlman, Moscow 1971. (If you recall, this was a time when the former
world champ was setting the record for games in-a-row without a loss.)
It is claimed that Hiarcs 10 finds the solution in less than one
second,
whereas other programs cannot find it even at tournament time
controls.

But when I set this up in Arena and, from a dead start and with no
hashtables, the free version of Rybka finds GM Tal's N-f5 at ply 14,
just
within tournament time controls. Oddly enough, it at first scores
this
move as just a teensy tad better than others. I didn't bother to let
this
run for a long time, since the boisterous claim had already been de-
bunked by a crippled (I don't know why it wasn't using any
hashtables)
old Rybka 1.0 engine, running in the background.

Some of the other problems on this site looked interesting, but my
computer is very sluggish right now and the claim included a long
list of engines I don't have.

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Old June 15th 07, 11:20 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

help bot wrote:
But when I set this up in Arena and, from a dead start and with no
hashtables, the free version of Rybka finds GM Tal's N-f5 at ply 14,
just within tournament time controls. Oddly enough, it at first
scores this move as just a teensy tad better than others. I didn't
bother to let this run for a long time, since the boisterous claim
had already been de- bunked by a crippled (I don't know why it
wasn't using any hashtables) old Rybka 1.0 engine, running in the
background.


You haven't debunked anything. It's possible the uncrippled version
of Rybka, by analyzing more positions, would see something that it
mistakenly thought refuted Tal's move. Evaluations can go down as
well as up. Consult a financial adviser before investing.

Try it again with Rybka operating under reasonable conditions and see
what it does. If it still thinks Nf5 is good, then you have a point.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Gigantic Nuclear Beer (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a refreshing lager that's made of
atoms but it's huge!
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Old June 15th 07, 12:07 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 6:20 am, David Richerby
wrote:

You haven't debunked anything. It's possible the uncrippled version
of Rybka, by analyzing more positions, would see something that it
mistakenly thought refuted Tal's move. Evaluations can go down as
well as up. Consult a financial adviser before investing.

Try it again with Rybka operating under reasonable conditions and see
what it does. If it still thinks Nf5 is good, then you have a point.



I think you have missed the point. Not only was that
article written about an older version of Hiarcs, but it
obviously could not have tested these positions against
the latest, greatest version of Rybka either.

My point was simply that on my meager hardware,
even the old demo version of Rybka -- which is hardly
as strong as the current version -- found the move the
author claimed no other program could find "at
tournament time controls". Obviously, by simply
running the free demo Rybka on a speedy desktop,
his claim would easily be debunked.

My test started by entering the position from scratch,
whereas in a tournament, the hashtables would not
only be utilized (an improvement in itself), but pre-
loaded with relevant data to speed up the search a
bit. It goes without saying that they would also use
a much faster, desktop computer (not an old
notebook). In sum, had the Rybka free demo engine
and a modern desktop computer been facing GM
Uhlman, it too would have played GM Tal's N-f5!,
winning. This *by itself* refutes the author's claim.

Now, once you run through the moves Nf5 exf5,
Re1+ Be6, Qd6, even my crippled machine will
evaluate the position as a clearcut win.

But as for the idea that Rybka might think it sees
a refutation to GM Tal's move, you need to look at
the screen. When an engine "overlooks" or rather,
mis-evaluates a move, this can happen. But here,
what we have is a case where the deeper it looks,
the more it "realizes" that GM Tal's move is the best.
(Of course, in rare cases it could prefer such a move
for several plies and then revert back to its initial,
mistaken preference for a capture on c6.)

I wanted to check the claims as to the other
positions, to see if in fact "no other program" could
find the solutions given. I suspect that in some
cases, this is because there is an alternate or
superior solution. For example, in the position
from one of GM Alekhine's games it is not really
necessary to sac the Bishop in order to win, and
in the Rook and pawn ending it is anything but
clear that "g4!" is the only, or even the fastest win.

Despite the exaggerated claims, it is interesting
that Hiarcs can (allegedly) solve tactical problems
with lightning speed. I especially liked the last
problem, where ...B-d5 (capturable many different
ways) forces the issue. But to be fair, I wonder if
a purely random sample of chess problems would
give such results as the ones on that site. For
example, in discussing the Whitaker endgame it
seems that Rybka far out-shined other programs
tested by others -- and that is without using the
tablebases!

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Old June 15th 07, 01:01 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 6:20 am, David Richerby
wrote:

You haven't debunked anything. It's possible the uncrippled version
of Rybka, by analyzing more positions, would see something that it
mistakenly thought refuted Tal's move. Evaluations can go down as
well as up. Consult a financial adviser before investing.




HYPE OUT WIPEOUT

Here's another debunker: at the Hiarcs Web site there
is of course an ad for the latest, greatest version of the
program, the same program which was hyped on the other
page for its..."superiority over other chess programs".

The ad lists *many* fine achievements, the most recent
of which are 1) winning the blitz championship at the ICC,
and 2) finishing second in the regular ICC tourney. Now
if you click on the link to see details on the regular
tourney, you only get an error message, but if you click
the link for the blitz tourney which Hiarcs won, it works
and you are taken to a page where you can then
eventually locate the results for the regular tourney
where Hiarcs finished second (but to whom?).

Oh, did I forget to mention which program finished ahead
of Hiarcs -- the one where the link is conveniently "broken",
and you get an error message? Silly me! I'll give you two
guesses. No, it's not any of the Chessbase programs... .
I'm wiped out by all this hype! :D

-- help bot




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Old June 15th 07, 05:28 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 11:20 am, David Richerby
wrote:
help bot wrote:
But when I set this up in Arena and, from a dead start and with no
hashtables, the free version of Rybka finds GM Tal's N-f5 at ply 14,
just within tournament time controls. Oddly enough, it at first
scores this move as just a teensy tad better than others. I didn't
bother to let this run for a long time, since the boisterous claim
had already been de- bunked by a crippled (I don't know why it
wasn't using any hashtables) old Rybka 1.0 engine, running in the
background.


You haven't debunked anything. It's possible the uncrippled version
of Rybka, by analyzing more positions, would see something that it
mistakenly thought refuted Tal's move. Evaluations can go down as
well as up. Consult a financial adviser before investing.


For the record HIARCS10 sees Nf5 in about 10s at ply10 on my kit. It
sees te line as played exactly. Rybka 2.3.2 takes nearer 15 minutes
but it seems to me that part of the problem is that it can see better
defensive resources for black. Not pretty and not fully effective but
it prefers half a dozen other moves to exf5 once it has looked deeply
enough 17+ ply.

Notably from ply 17 after Nf5 it reckons exf5 leads inexorably to
disaster. Qe5, Qc5 top the list follwed by h6, a6, f6, Nf6 all of
these get whites standard reply Nd6+ or Nxg7+ depending if the g7 pawn
is protected.

Try it again with Rybka operating under reasonable conditions and see
what it does. If it still thinks Nf5 is good, then you have a point.


It does still work on Rybka 2.3.2, but it takes a fair while to find
it. I suspect in part because it is less convinced than HIARCS that
black will play exf5. Shredder10 doesn't make any real headway either.
Junior7 doesn't find Nf5 after 30mins and ply - in fact it isn't even
in its top 10 possible moves.

But Fritz8 gets it in about 60s (ply12) which isn't bad for what is
now a fairly old engine. This position seems to favour tactically
sharp engines.

Regards,
Martin Brown



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Old June 15th 07, 09:59 PM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 5:28 pm, Martin Brown
wrote:

But Fritz8 gets it in about 60s (ply12) which isn't bad for what is
now a fairly old engine. This position seems to favour tactically
sharp engines.


I know it is bad form to follow up one of your own posts, but as a
post-script to the above good ole faithful Fritz 5.32 managed to get
Nf5 in 4 hours at ply 15. I think it is time they put Fritz8 gratis in
the database package though.

Regards,
Martin Brown

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Old June 16th 07, 02:05 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 12:28 pm, Martin Brown
wrote:

But when I set this up in Arena and, from a dead start and with no
hashtables, the free version of Rybka finds GM Tal's N-f5 at ply 14,
just within tournament time controls. Oddly enough, it at first
scores this move as just a teensy tad better than others. I didn't
bother to let this run for a long time, since the boisterous claim
had already been de- bunked by a crippled (I don't know why it
wasn't using any hashtables) old Rybka 1.0 engine, running in the
background.


For the record HIARCS10 sees Nf5 in about 10s at ply10 on my kit. It
sees te line as played exactly.



That's odd. I wonder if GM Tal's opponent really found the
"optimal" defense, all the way out. BTW, the latest, greatest
advertised version of Hiarcs is now 11.x, although it is only an
engine.


Rybka 2.3.2 takes nearer 15 minutes


That version was only released a few days ago, and could
not have been the one used by the author, though. (Take a
look at the version numbers he gave for other chess programs
like Fritz, for instance.)


but it seems to me that part of the problem is that it can see better
defensive resources for black. Not pretty and not fully effective but
it prefers half a dozen other moves to exf5 once it has looked deeply
enough 17+ ply.



My huffing, puffing machine got bogged down well before
that depth, and for reasons unknown, would not use any
hashtables. Even so, it found N-f5 in just over three minutes.
In a tournament game, I expect the time saved while in book
would be allocated to the early middlegame, so it is realistic
to think that the Rybka 1.0 engine could easily find the
move just as GM Tal did, on a modern desktop computer.


Notably from ply 17 after Nf5 it reckons exf5 leads inexorably to
disaster. Qe5, Qc5 top the list follwed by h6, a6, f6, Nf6 all of
these get whites standard reply Nd6+ or Nxg7+ depending if the g7 pawn
is protected.

Try it again with Rybka operating under reasonable conditions



What do you want -- five million bucks and all expenses,
along with half the gate and the movie rights? What was
wrong with the old London conditions... . :D


and see what it does. If it still thinks Nf5 is good, then you have a point.


It does still work on Rybka 2.3.2, but it takes a fair while to find
it. I suspect in part because it is less convinced than HIARCS that
black will play exf5. Shredder10 doesn't make any real headway either.



Shredder seemed to have one thing going for it:
compressed endgame tablebases which are claimed
to work very quickly. Unfortunately, even the simplest
problem of that group was too complex for this to kick
in.


Junior7 doesn't find Nf5 after 30mins and ply - in fact it isn't even
in its top 10 possible moves.

But Fritz8


They are now up to Fritz 10, but the author claimed
none of the other major programs could find GM Tal's
N-f5 at "tournament time controls".


gets it in about 60s (ply12) which isn't bad for what is
now a fairly old engine. This position seems to favour
tactically sharp engines.



When I installed the free demo version of Rybka in
Arena, it asked me to select one of four settings:
tactical, positional, very positional, very tactical --
something like that. I went with the default setting,
very positional. Maybe that was a mistake, since
all I have done so far is look at chess problems
which tend to be very tactical... .

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Old June 16th 07, 02:09 AM posted to rec.games.chess.computer,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Rybka vs. Hiarcs

On Jun 15, 4:59 pm, Martin Brown
wrote:
On Jun 15, 5:28 pm, Martin Brown
wrote:

But Fritz8 gets it in about 60s (ply12) which isn't bad for what is
now a fairly old engine. This position seems to favour tactically
sharp engines.


I know it is bad form to follow up one of your own posts, but as a
post-script to the above good ole faithful Fritz 5.32 managed to get
Nf5 in 4 hours at ply 15. I think it is time they put Fritz8 gratis in
the database package though.



I wonder if anyone has the annotations to this game,
and can tell us how long it took GM Tal to play N-f5.

Me, I might play it in ten seconds, then go "Cr*p!, that
square is attacked by a pawn!"

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